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Home  > Raw materials & technologies  > Technologies  > Nanotechnology  > Devine nano technology forms new particles

Sunday, 22 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Nanotechnology

Devine nano technology forms new particles

Monday, 27 May 2013

Metal–metal, metal–dielectric, and metal–polymeric particle types are possible. Named after the two-faced god Janus: looking at the future and past simultaneously, being the master of beginnings, transitions gates, doors, endings and time.

The Janus technology combines two functional parts in one particle

Source: UCF Research Group

The Janus technology combines two functional parts in one particle

Source: UCF Research Group

Patchy particles, and Janus particles in particular, already have such broad application potential that it’s hard to believe they are a relatively young concept to nanoscience.
Much effort has been made during recent years to devise and fabricate asymmetric particles with multiple compositions and functionalities due to their interesting properties and potential applications in a variety of fields such as catalysis and functional coatings.

Focusing on nanoparticles comprising (at least) one metallic component

From the endless breadth of patchy particle types, the progress report from Denis Rodríguez-Fernández and Luis M. Liz-Marzán, Universidade de Vigo in Spain, highlights Janus particles with at least one metallic component, including metal–metal, metal–dielectric, and metal–polymeric particle types, as well as looking at non-spherical Janus particles.

Metal Janus particles can be created via phase separation methods (emulsion polymerization, seeding, or microfluidics), by partial masking to allow selective functionalisation of existing particles, or by the spontaneous self-assembly of competitive ligands on the particle surfaces. The scalability of each method is assessed, as well as the control each allows over the geometry and size of the products.

Their special properties suggest that the application prospects of Janus particles are endless if, as the authors conclude in the article of "Particle & Particle Systems Characterization", Volume 30, Issue 1, pages 46–60, January, 2013, their production can be increased and simplified for industry.

Janus particles create asymmetry

Janus particles, named after the Roman god with two opposing faces, are asymmetrical objects with distinct surface regions of different chemical or physical properties. Asymmetry is a neat way of incorporating multiple predictable functionalities into a material, and of ensuring that its reactions are directional, which leads to interesting new abilities that homogeneous materials do not have. Positioning the physically and/or chemically different components directly opposite each other, as with Janus particles, also means that the material can behave like a surfactant, allowing additional possibilities for self-assembly.

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